Sunday, July 29, 2007

Ride and Bike

Friday I had an all day meeting in Santa Monica. I rode my bike 2 miles (twelve minutes) to the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax. There I caught the new Rapid Express Bus, the 920. It runs rush hour only from Wilshire and Vermont all the way to Santa Monica making only 5 or 6 stops along the way. Wow! Even faster than the 720 Rapid Bus. I put my bike on the bike rack and was dropped off 2 blocks from my meeting. Total travel time from home to destination was 50 minutes.

Eastbound traffic from the westside is unbelievably bad now during the evening rush hour. It seems counter-intuitive that the worst traffic would be the opposite of the typical downtown rush, but it is. Many thousands of jobs have been opened up on the westside over the last decade while housing prices have soared. The people who work there can't afford to live there. So it is a big mess.

I had already planned to ride my bike all the way home and not use the bus. Although there is a dedicated bus lane for a portion of the ride back, the bus is still caught in terrible traffic for most of the afternoon rush. I rode my bike in the Venice Blvd. bike lane, frequently passing cars and buses. Made it home in 72 minutes, just 20 minutes slower than my early morning ride to Santa Monica, and certainly faster than if I had tried to drive or take the bus back. Much more enjoyable, too, after a day of sitting in a meeting.

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